Some elected officials hold town halls to listen to constituents. Some send out surveys and others hold gatherings at parks or churches.
In New Mexico, however, some elected officials and community leaders choose to get their marching orders from corporations with extreme Right Wing agendas.
Enter ALEC: The American Legislative Exchange Council. If you haven’t heard of this group before, you may have seen some of their policies either at the Roundhouse here in New Mexico or at the national level. They’re a Washington-D.C.-based, corporate-sponsored “think tank” that basically believes our society should be run like Gilead- see Handmaid’s Tale for reference, or, click here for a list of their bills. (Spoiler alert: abortion bans, “Right-to-Work” laws, privatization of public schools, voter suppression, climate change denial, etc.)
A couple of weeks ago, ALEC held their conference in Austin, Texas. Progress Texas was on-the-ground alongside community members, demanding accountability and transparency from this secretive organization and from the Electeds who attend this conference. They, too, understand that this conference is a place where extreme Right plans are hatched and where back-door corporate deals are cut. Then, those ideas are translated into a series of bills that are run in legislatures, city councils and school boards across the nation.
The secret corporate conference was held in Texas this year, but these New Mexico Electeds and community leaders took the initiative to attend:
Paul Bandy, NM State Representative
Gregg Fulfer, NM State Senator
Yvette Herrell, Candidate for CD2 and ALEC’s State Chair of the Year, 2017
Carla Sontag, NM Business Coalition
James Strickler, NM State Representative
James Townsend, NM State Representative and Minority Leader
Other notable attendees include:
Burly Cain, New Mexico Americans for Prosperity
Trump 2020 Campaign
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
US Census Bureau
US Department of Education
For years, ALEC has tried to keep names of their members, attendees, and corporate donors a secret. Each time, these names had to be leaked in order for the public to gain access to them. Take a look at the full list of conference attendees here.
ALEC isn’t new to New Mexico politics. In fact, many other New Mexico Legislators with ties to ALEC have either been voted out or are no longer hold office for various reasons. Others, however, remain.
(Via ALEC Exposed) *Please note, Sen. Carlos Cisneros is not a FORMER
As constituents, we deserve to know who our electeds are beholden to. (In this case, it’s not the people of New Mexico.) We also deserve to know how governmental institutions are working behind the scenes to cut deals with corporations who seek to profit off the suffering of our communities.
To our ProgressNow members and beyond: let’s hold this list close as we head into the 2020 election cycle. Sunshine is the best disinfectant, and we’ve got plenty in New Mexico to go around.